Sunday Worship at 11AM | 4967 Fincher Rd., Canton, GA 30114

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5 ESV)

Maybe we should have started here, but I need to share an important truth with you: apart from Christ you can’t live a victorious life, a fruitful life, or a life with eternal significance. Jesus uses imagery to help us better understand the importance of “abiding in Him”. What does it mean to abide? Abide is the Greek word menō and it means to tarry, not to depart, to remain, to continue to be present.

What does it look like for Christians to abide in Christ and for Christ to abide in them? The Scripture reminds us: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV) Notice that these are fruit not fruits. The connotation is this: true followers of Jesus will see these fruit present in their lives because the Holy Spirit is present in their lives. The more we abide in Christ, the more He will abide in us and the more His fruit will grow in our lives.

Jesus reminds us that we cannot bear fruit by ourselves, we must abide in Him. I have often found myself struggling with two wrong ways of thinking about my Christian faith. The first is an attitude of just “going through the motions”. In this attitude, I may be faithfully serving God, attending church, teaching, and sharing the Gospel but it is out of responsibility, not relationship. In these moments I find that I am spending less time abiding in Christ and more time being consumed by less important things.

The other wrong way of thinking is one of pulling myself up by my own spiritual bootstraps. This is where I decide that I am done just going through the motions and now I am going to see fruit grow in my life by my own effort or good works. In this attitude, I am fully convinced that I am not doing enough, serving enough, or working hard enough, and I am going to fix the problem myself. In these moments I find that I forget that it is Jesus who started (and will finish) the good work in me (Philippians 1:6). I still fail to simply abide with Jesus.

Question: are you abiding in Christ? As followers of Jesus, we have the incredible invitation to boldly come before the throne of God to receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). I don’t know about you, but I need to spend much more time hanging out around the throne of God and far less time hanging out in other places.

Father, please help me to rest in You and intentionally remain and be present in Christ. Help me make time today and each day moving forward to purposefully make time for prayer, Bible study, and worship. Teach me to reset in you Lord Jesus. Help me remember that I need you and it is You who helps the fruit to grow and blossom in my life. Holy Spirit I pray that Your presence would be undeniable in my heart and life, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Categories: Devotion